1. We expect promises of change from Democratic candidates, but it's disappointing to watch certain Republican candidates yield to that superficially seductive sound bite, too. It's like the global-warming freight train, which few politicians have displayed the guts and character not to board.
2. It's disappointing to watch candidates from both parties accept the premise that criticizing your opponents' records and pointing out their inconsistencies and lies is engaging in dirty politics. It is not dirty but obligatory to draw distinctions between you and your opponents. Dirty politics is distorting one's record or spreading lies about a candidate. Why do so many refuse to see the difference? It's the same type of shallow thinking that prefers that politicians get along rather than promote their ideas.
3. Until very recently, "experts" have proclaimed that only Rudy and Romney had a realistic path to the GOP nomination and that Hillary was inevitable on the Democrat side. Now, many tell us Romney is dead unless he wins in New Hampshire, Rudy is already toast and Hillary is almost toast. The common denominator is that the punditocracy has been consistently wrong, which will not deter them from continuing their pseudo-omniscient, mostly erroneous analysis.
4. "Experts" also say that if McCain wins New Hampshire, he'll be the clear frontrunner -- though New Hampshire is not a bellwether state and McCain will remain, based on logic and experience, an overwhelming long shot.
5. Fred Thompson can't get anyone to give him the time of day. Debate moderator Chris Wallace, for example, overtly directed most of his questions to Huckabee, Romney and McCain. Then, in his post-debate analysis, he criticized Fred (and Rudy) for not being more assertive in the debate. What?
6. The media have decree Fred can't win, so it must be so.
7. If Fred can't win -- which I reject -- and Rudy and Romney are toast, and few truly believe Huckabee and McCain can win no matter how much the media and pundits promote them, then no one can win. Nonsense. One of them will win, and as long as none is an overwhelming frontrunner, they are all still in it.
8. Rumors that Hillary will drop out if she loses in New Hampshire to avoid damaging the "Clinton brand" are absurd. Quitting would hurt the Clintons far more than losing a hard fight would. Ask "No mas" boxing legend Roberto Duran.
9. If Hillary's hurting now, how much more would she be if Edwards, who presents a similar message in a more strident, polarizing and demagogic tone, were not in the race? But don't count Hillary out yet. She has the Clinton machine behind her.